What is CUWiP?

The APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) are three-day regional conferences for undergraduate physics majors. The 2023 conferences will be held January 20-22, 2023.  

The goal of APS CUWiP is to help undergraduate women continue in physics by providing them with the opportunity to experience a professional conference, information about graduate school and professions in physics, and access to other women in physics of all ages with whom they can share experiences, advice, and ideas. The national and local organizing committees of APS CUWiP strive to create a welcoming environment for all, including undergraduate women and gender minorities.

The 2023 program at University of Iowa will include research talks, panel discussions about graduate school and careers in physics, workshops and discussions about women in physics, student research talks and poster sessions, and laboratory tours.

How do you pronounce CUWiP? 

Most people say "Cue-Wip".

Who is invited to attend CUWiP?

Any undergraduate student with an interest in physics may apply to attend a CUWiP.  Undergraduate students are eligible to apply and register for the conference.


Do I need to have research to present in order to attend the conference? 

No. While we encourage you to present a talk or a poster if you have been involved in research, you are welcome to attend the conference and participate in the activities. 

I attended last year; can I come to this year’s conference, too?

The content of this year’s conference will not be exactly the same as the previous year’s, and you are welcome to apply to attend again. However, if more students apply than we can accommodate, preference will be given to students who have never attended a CUWiP. 

I am a local student. Do I need to register?

Yes, all attendees must register by the deadline, Monday, October 3, 2022 at 5:00pm ET.

 I'm a student from Canada. Can I apply to a U.S. site?

Students from Canada are encouraged to apply to the Canadian site, but may apply to closer U.S sites if desired. However, Canadian students accepted to U.S. sites are not eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses from the conference or for waiver of the registration fee.

I am not vaccinated / I do not wish to disclose my vaccination status / The site I am assigned to requires me to be vaccinated, how can I attend CUWiP?

You are welcome to apply! We do not require vaccination but it is recommended. 

I'm a student in a country other than the United States or Canada.  Can I apply for CUWiP? 

Students from countries other than the United States and Canada are welcome to apply to our virtual component. Please click here to apply to the Virtual CUWiP. 

I'm a community college student.  Am I eligible to apply to CUWiP?

Yes, undergraduate students at any U.S. college or university may apply.

I'm a high school student/grad student/postdoc/faculty member.  Am I eligible to apply to CUWiP?

Only undergraduate students who will be over 18 at the time of the conference may apply to CUWiP.  If you are a faculty member who has interest in coming to CUWiP at University of Iowa, particularly with a group of undergrads from your institution, please email Phys-cuwip@uiowa.edu to see if we can include you in conference activities. 

 I am transgender/gender-fluid/genderqueer/non-binary etc, can I attend this conference?

Yes, students of all genders are welcome to attend this conference. If you have questions, or concerns about the housing for this conference, please contact us at phys-cuwip@uiowa.edu.



 Who can attend? Do I need to be a physics major to apply?

Any undergraduate student attending a U.S college/university may apply. You must be over the age of 18 at the time of the conference. High school students are not permitted to apply. 

It is very important to complete all parts of the application and to write a thoughtful Applicant Statement. If conferences are oversubscribed, priority will be given to applicants who:

  1. Are undergraduate physics or engineering physics majors
  2. Have never attended an APS CUWiP

What’s the difference between "application" and "registration"?

You apply to attend a CUWiP conference, the CUWiP leadership directs you to a site, the site reviews your application and you are accepted, wait-listed or declined according to the priorities listed above. The application is free and the deadline to apply is Monday, October 3, 2022 at 5:00pm ET. 

After you have been accepted, you will register  for your accepted site to confirm that you will actually be attending, and provide specifics, such as special accomodations and dietary restrictions. There is a one-time registration fee of $45, which helps offset some of the cost of the conference. The conference provides all lodging and meals. If necessary, the registration fee can be waived. To request a fee waiver, please contact women@aps.org.

Why can I not apply to a specific site? 

As CUWiP is so popular, we need to carefully balance the loads across the sites to minimize travel costs and maximize the number of students who can attend CUWiP.  Please do not book travel until you receive an acceptance email and complete registration for a specific site.

Do I need to book my travel before registering?

No, but you should have an estimate of the cost. If you are traveling by air, or long distance train or bus, and your travel cost is not covered by your department, your travel agenda and cost must be approved by the conference site organizers before you book your travel. Email us at Phys-cuwip@uiowa.edu for approval.  Due to the limited nature of our travel funds, we ask that you find the most economical means of transportation to and from the conference. For example, reach out to others in your department and see if carpooling is an option. 

What will increase my chances of being accepted to the conference?

First, make sure you submit your application by the deadline, Monday, October 3, 2022 at 5:00pm ET.

Second, make sure you put some thought into why you want to attend and what you want to get out of the conference. Please answer all questions on the application fully and honestly. Offering to present a talk or a poster, or indicating interest in travel support, will not affect your chances of being selected to attend.



How much does the conference cost? 

Students who are accepted to attend the conference must pay a one-time registration fee of $45, which helps offset some of the cost of the conference, including all lodging and meals. Lodging (for non-local students) and food will be covered by the conference; you do not need to pay for your hotel room or food at the conference.  We expect that your travel expenses will be covered by your home department or college. However, if they are not able to cover these expenses, travel funding is available - see the Travel page.

If you cannot afford the registration fee and your department/college is unable to help, you may request a fee waiver by emailing women@aps.org for the appropriate form. The request takes approximately 48 hours to review. You must request a fee waiver before registering. The deadline to request a fee waiver is on Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at 5:00 PM ET for initially accepted students and Friday, December 2, 2022 at 5:00pm ET for formally wait-listed, second round accepted students. Please do not wait until the last minute to request the waiver and/or to register. For more information on fee waivers, contact women@aps.org.

Please note that the deadline for students to cancel registration and receive a refund is on Friday, December 16, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Any cancellations beyond that date are non-refundable.


How do I know the amount my department will contribute to my travel funding?

Please talk to your department chair, manager, or director of undergraduate studies before registering for CUWiP. You might ask an academic advisor, faculty member you know, or other mentor for guidance about who to ask if you are unsure. You can also contact us if you would like guidance in asking your department for travel funds.  

My institution would like to cover the registration fee for me and other students in my department. Is there an option to do this?

We now offer a payment option for departments who would like a secure way to pay for their students. The request takes approximately 48 hours to review and process. Please contact women@aps.org for more information.

Payment requests must be submitted by Tuesday, November 8, 2022 for first round accepted students and Tuesday, November 29, 2022 for originally waitlisted, second round accepted students.



How do I arrange travel?

Students are responsible for arranging their own travel to the conference. We encourage students to coordinate with other attendees from their institution. Please contact your department chair or faculty member if your department is reimbursing you for travel costs. If your department cannot fund your travel, please communicate with Phys-cuwip@uiowa.edu for travel ticket approval before purchase.

Can I come late? Can I leave early? Can I skip things that I’m not interested in?

Because your travel costs are reimbursable, it is expected that you will attend all of the conference events as scheduled. If you have special circumstances, please contact us to discuss them. Phys-cuwip@uiowa.edu

Where do I stay during the conference?

Students will be accommodated at the Iowa House Hotel. Please visit our Travel & Accommodation page for more information. If you are driving to the conference, you may park at the Iowa Memorial Parking Ramp. Do not make your own hotel reservations. Students will be housed in double rooms, meaning you will be assigned a roommate. Roommate assignments will be made by rooming students with others from their same institution (when applicable). All other roommate assignments will be made at random. If you have concerns about the roommate/housing situation, please contact Phys-cuwip@uiowa.edu.

How can I get to and from the airport?

The Cedar Rapids Airport is a short drive to the University of Iowa campus. 

We will help you with travel between airports and University of Iowa, by organizing shuttles. If you plan to fly, please contact us before making your reservation.

When will I get reimbursed for travel?

If you are being reimbursed by the conference (rather than by your department): after the conference, you can submit the reimbursement form that will be provided to you. Reimbursement will be mailed to you within the month. For more details please contact us. Further information will be provided when you arrive at the conference on how to submit reimbursement for mileage, etc. Please keep track of miles driven and any relevant receipts. 



What if I have dietary restrictions?

We will request dietary restriction information on the registration form. If you believe your dietary needs are unusual, please contact us and we will work to accommodate you. Phys-cuwip@uiowa.edu

 What should I wear to the conference?

The conference has no dress code, and we encourage students to be comfortable. There will be a plated banquet on Saturday evening after the poster session, and many students enjoy dressing up for this event. You may wish to look at photos of previous conferences to see what students typically wear. Please keep in mind it is cold and often snowy in the Iowa City area this time of the year. All events will be held at the University of Iowa campus but there is a short (few blocks) walk between the hotel and conference space. Jackets are necessary, boots are recommended.  

Will there be resources available for attendees with disabilities?

Should you need help getting around campus we can make necessary arraignments. 

We will request information on disability status on the registration form. Please contact us at Phys-CUWiP@uiowa.edu in advance if you have unusual requirements, and we will work to accommodate you.  

What are the guidelines for posters and talks?

Please see our 'Posters' page for more information. 

Can I connect with those going to the conference before arriving ?

 Yes! We intend to set up a social media account- check back later for more information.

I have anxiety, depression, etc, and I am worried about attending this conference. What should I do?

Please contact us if you are comfortable so we are aware Phys-cuwip@uiowa.edu. We will encourage you to try your best during the networking opportunities, but if you need to be paired up with someone you know (either in rooming or meals), please let us know so we can try to accommodate you. We hope that you will be able to comfortably attend the conference and get something from it, but we understand that everyone needs to go at their own pace.

What if I need child care?

Please contact us to discuss your needs at phys-cuwip@uiowa.ed.

What are gender pronouns?

A gender pronoun is the pronoun that a person chooses to use for themselves. For example, if Xena's preferred pronouns are she, her, and hers, you could say "Xena ate her food because she was hungry." She, her, hers and he, him, his are common examples of pronouns. Some people call these "female/feminine" and "male/masculine" pronouns, but many avoid these labels because, for example, not everyone who uses he feels like a "male" or "masculine."

There are also lots of gender-neutral pronouns in use. Here are a few you might hear:

* They, them, theirs (Xena ate their food because they were hungry.) This is a pretty common gender-neutral pronoun.... And yes, it can in fact be used in the singular.
* Ze, hir (Xena ate hir food because ze was hungry.)
Ze is pronounced like "zee" can also be spelled zie or xe, and replaces she/he/they. Hir is pronounced like "here" and replaces her/hers/him/his/they/theirs.
* Just my name please! (Xena ate Xena's food because Xena was hungry) Some people prefer not to use pronouns at all, using their name as a pronoun instead.
* Never, ever refer to a person as “it” or “he-she” (unless they specifically ask you to.) These are often used as offensive slurs. 

Why does CUWiP ask for my preferred pronouns? Why should I consider putting them on my name badge?

CUWiP seeks to be a safe space for all participants.  By asking for preferred pronouns, we are ensuring that we don’t accidentally misgender any of our participants or make harmful assumptions based on appearance. Even if you have never considered this in relation to yourself, by including your preferred pronouns on your name badge you can help to make other CUWiP participants comfortable. We hope you will consider this.